tv Democracy Now LINKTV October 24, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
10/24/17 10/24/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: i have given my blessing to congress and congress is working with you and your representatives on coming up with a plan, a payment plan, and how it is all going to be funded. amy: president trump said his administration deserves a "10 out of 10" for its response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in puerto rico. but over 1 million people on the island still lack clean drinking water residents say they are , suffering from eye infections
and gastrointestinal diseases as a result of exposure to contaminated water. we will get response from justbeth yeampierre, who cowrote a piece with naomi klein titled "imagine a puerto rico recovery designed by puerto ricans." then we look at the u.s. military presence in africa, and what happened during the ambush of u.s. special forces by militants in niger, in which five nigerian soldiers were killed, along with four u.s. green berets. >> we owe the families as much as information as we can find out about what happened. we owe the american people an explanation of what their men and women were doing at this particular time. amy: we will speak with attorney mark fancher. and we will speak with professor horace campbell am an out of the institute of african studies at
the university of ghana. all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. joint chiefs of staff chair general joseph dunford monday laid out a timeline of the deadly october 4 ambush in which five soldiers from niger and four u.s. troops were killed while on parole, posing the military -- were on patrol, promising the military would conduct a thorough and transparent investigation. the general's explanation came as the widow of u.s. army sergeant leigh david johnson spoke out against donald trump's handling of the aftermath of the attack, saying during a condolence call the president couldn't remember the name of her husband. in an interview with "good morning america" monday, myeshia johnson reaffirmed that she and others heard president trump say, "he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway."
refuting president trump's claim that the remark was totally fabricated. >> it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. he could not remember my husband's name. the only way to remember my husband name is because he told he had my husband report in front of me. that is when he actually said "la david." i heard him stumbling trying remember my husband name. and that what hurting me the most because if my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risk his life for our country, why can't you remember his name? amy: trump responded on twitter saying -- "i had a very respectful conversation with the widow of sgt. la david johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!" money should said she was not allowed to view her husband's body and demanded answers about how died during that patrol in niger on october 4.
we will have more on niger, the attack, the growing u.s. troop presence in africa, after headlines. u.s. pentagon chief jim mattis arrived in the philippines monday for an annual meeting of regional defense ministers, as the philippines government declared victory in its months-long battle to dislodge isis-allied militants in the city of marawi. human rights groups say the fighting displaced over 200,000 people and left more than a thousand civilians dead. over the summer, the pentagon confirmed u.s. troops assisted the fight with training, aerial surveillance, and electronic eavesdropping. newly released video shows the minute agents with the u.s. drug enforcement administration opened fire on a boat in honduras in 2012, killing four civilians, including two pregnant women. the video, obtained by the pew look up -- propublica and "the new york times," appears to show the civilians did not open fire on dea agents, as the agency has long claimed
in public statements and in congressional testimony. the video's release followed a scathing report by the inspectors general of the justice and state departments who say the dea repeatedly lied about the incident. the agents were part of a now-shuttered task force known as the foreign-deployed advisory support team, or fast, which was trained in military-yle anti-dg raids. republican senator john mccain took an apparent swipe at president trump over his multiple deferments from the draft during the vietnam war, including a 1968 medical exam that declared trump unfit to serve due to bone spurs in his heels. senator mccain was speaking in an appearance monday on abc's "the view." >> one of the great inequities of the vietnam conflict was the lowest income americans went and fight and were drafted, and those who are wealthy enough to have a doctor to say, hey, you have a bone spur or you have
migraines or whatever it is, then they were excused. amy: mccain made a similar comment to c-span over the weekend. he later insisted the bone spur references weren't directed at the president. in 2015, then-candidate donald trump said mccain was only considered a war hero because he was captured by the vietnamese army, adding, "i like people who weren't captured." the united nations says international donors have pledged $434 million to aid more than 600,000 rohingya refugees who fled to bangladesh to escape ethnic cleansing in bournemouth. the pledges at a one-day donor conference came as refugee agencies warned more than a thousand rohingya continue to cross each day, fleeing rape, killings, and the burning of their villages in rakhine state. the pledges came as the trump administration said it was withdrawing military assistance units from burma and considering sanctions against burmese officials believed to be behind violent, traumatic abuses.
in moscow, a popular radio talkshow host is in critical condition after a man burst into her moscow radio station monday and stabbed her in the throat. the editor-in-chief of the echo of moscow radio station says 32-year-old tatiana felgenhauer was not on the air at the time of the attack, which left the green room of the radio station splattered with blood. understanding of where he was going, he came through here, injured the room, and stabbed her in the neck. that is what we know. it is a imitating -- it is a penetrating injury. amy: doctors say they've since placed tatiana felgenhauer on a ventilator and in an induced coma. the attacker was later arrested on charges of attempted murder. russian state media claimed the man was motivated by hooliganism and had a personal fixation on felgenhauer. reporters at the station say they've been the target of repeated death threats after
offering airtime to dissidents, including opponents of president vladimir putin. in new york city, members of the russian protest group pussy riot dropped a banner and scattered hundreds of leaflets inside trump tower monday, shutting down access to the building for about a half hour. the activists' banner read "free senstov" -- a reference to ukrainian filmmaker oleg senstov, who's currently serving a 20 year prison term in a russian prison on terrorism charges. his supporters say he's innocent of any crime and was jailed over his criticism of russia's annexation of crimea. amnesty international has called for his release. the department of education has revoked 72 policy documents detailing the rights of disabled students, calling them outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective. the documents spelled out ways schools should comply with two civil rights laws, the rehabilitation act and disabilities education act. among the documents rescinded was one offering guidance to
schools on how to use federal funds for special education. a spokesperson for education secretary betsy devos declined to comment on the changes. during her confirmation hearings last january, devos told senators states should be left to decide whether to comply with the individuals with disabilities education act. that prompted a follow-up question to devos by new hampshire democrat maggie hassan. >> i want to go back to the individual disabilities in education act. that is a federal civil rights law. so do you stand by your statement a few minutes ago that it should be up to the states whether to follow it? >> the law -- federal law must be followed or federal dollars are in play. >> were you unaware what i just asked you that it was a federal law? >> i may have confused it. amy: new york's attorney general has opened a civil rights probe into the weinstein company after dozens of women came forward alleging rape and other sexual crimes by movie mogul harvey weinstein.
schneiderman has subpoenaed company records relating to sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaints, investigating whether the company broke state civil rights law or new york city human rights law. the probe comes after a former assistant to company co-founder bob weinstein said she warned her boss 25 years ago about sexual misconduct of his brother, harvey weinstein. bob weinstein faces his own charges of sexual misconduct after producer amanda segel told "variety" magazine he made unwanted romantic overtures toward her while asking highly intimate questions during a production in june of 2016. nbc morning show host megyn kelly blasted her former fox news colleague bill o'reilly monday, saying she complained about o'reilly's sexual harassment of women at the network but was repeatedly ignored. suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. i know because i complained. women everywhere are used to being dismissed, ignored, or
attacked when raising complaints about men in authority positions. they stay silent so often out of fear. fear of ending the careers, fear of lawyers, yes. and often fears of public shaming. amy: kelly made the remarks after o'reilly denied he'd committed sexual misconduct, telling radio host glenn beck he was the victim of a smear campaign by "the new york times." on saturday, "the times" reported o'reilly reached a $32 million settlement with a former fox news presenter to settle sexual harassment claims just weeks before fox news signed him to a $25 million-a-year contract. it was at least the sixth such settlement during o'reilly's time at the network. in montreal, canada, protesters have begun riding the city's buses and trains wearing traditional islamic face veils known as niqabs, as well as scarves and other coverings, in solidarity with muslim women and in defiance of a new law requiring people to show their faces when receiving public services. protesters say quebec bill 62 is
an islamaphobic law aimed at stigmatizing the province's muslim minority. >> throughout the whole bus ride, i had to uncover my face. what is the reason? what did i do? what crime did i commit that i my fundamental rights violated? >> even if you believe the niqab is oppressive and women are struggling with this, is that really is a problem, cutting them out of public transit and access to education and medical care is simple enough a solution. -- simply not the solution. amy: supporters of the bill point to similar laws passed in france and say it's aimed at upholding quebec's secular traditions. canadian prime minister justin trudeau, who campaigned in 2015 against former premiere steven harper's islamaphobic rhetoric, offered muted criticism on ebec's niqab ban and said it's not up to the federal government to challenge the law. in the gulf of mexico, officials with the llog exploration company say a rupture in a pipeline south of louisiana this month d to the gulf's largest oil spill since the 2010
deepwater horizon disaster. the spill dumped an estimated 672,000 gallons of oil into one mile-deep water about 40 miles off the coast. meanwhile, the coast guard has called off a search for two workers who went missing friday after their oil barge exploded in waters off the coast of port aransas, texas. the barge was carrying 133,000 barrels of crude oil, some of which spilled into the gulf. nicaragua says it will join the paris climate accord, leaving donald trump and syrian president bashar al-assad as the only world leaders rejecting the landmark 2015 agreement. nicaragua had been a holdout, arguing far more dramatic action is needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. but the country's vice president said monday the deal is "the only instrument" the world has to tackle global warming. president trump announced in june he would withdraw the u.s. from the paris accord, prompting condemnation from climate activists and heads of state in every corner of the globe.
meanwhile, a new report from the government accountability office finds climate change is already costing u.s. taxpayers billions of dollars per year, with costs expected to skyrocket over the coming years. the gao report found taxpayers paid out more than $350 billion over the last decade on flood and crop insurance along with disaster assistance programs. that figure is before factoring in the massive costs of th ye's the major hurricanes and devastating wildfires in western states. and activists rallied in dozens of cities across the u.s. and worldwide under the hash tag #divesttheglobe monday, calling on people to pull their funds from banks that invest in the fossil fuel economy. in oakland, california, indigenous women led a march to branches of wells fargo, chase , and citibank urging patrons to close their accounts. arrestede, police activists as they nonviolently seven shut down major bank branches over their financing of
the dakota access and keystone xl pipelines. this is rachel heaton, a lear of the muckleshoot tribe, speaking outside a bank of america branch. >> we are not just affected here in the united states. these banks are causing problems all over the world. they are privatizing water. they are causing deforestation. there is pollution. and so today, we are divesting the globe. and here in seattle, we are shutting down. we are visiting over 100 banks today. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in puerto rico. 3.5 million residents and half the island's hospitals still have no electricity from the power grid more than a month after hurricane maria. over one million people still lack clean drinking water, and
residents a their suffering from eye infections and gastrointestinal diseases as a result of exposure to contaminated water. more than a third of the island's sewage-treatment plants are not functioning and some 40% of residents lack a cellphone signal. meanwhile, the environmental protection agency has not yet inspected 5 out of 18 of puerto rico's toxic-waste sites, also known as super fund sites. the official death toll now stands at 49 with health experts saying the real number is likely higher. amy: on monday, fema announced more than $500 million in aid to the island, including $285 million to help restore electricity and water services. the senate also tentatively approved a $36.5 billion hurricane relief package that includes aid for puerto rico. a final vote is expected later today before the measure heads to president trump. but first, republican senators jeff flake of arizona and mike lee of utah are demanding that
puerto rico be made permanently exempt from the jones act, a 1920 law that has complicated efforts to send supplies to the hurricane-ravaged island. all of this comes as president trump said on thursday his administration deserves a "10 out of 10" for itsesponse to the ongoing humatarian crisis in puerto rico. pres. trump: i think we've done a really great job and we've had tremendous corporation from the governor. we are getting there. people are releasing the effort that is been put into puerto rico. it is been a very, very difficult situation for many people. middleright through the of the island. right through the middle of puerto rico. there's never been anything like that. i give ourselves a 10. amy: puerto rico is saddled with a $73 billion debt and now faces an estimated $95 billion in storm-related damage. many are now questioning what the recovery effort will look
like -- who will benefit and who will be left out. in a new piece for the intercept, puerto rican activist elizabeth yeampierre and naomi klein "imagine a puerto rico recovery designed by puerto ricans" and write -- "the fact that the house-approved relief package contains $5 billion in loans for the island, rather than grants, is a special kind of cruelty. because on an island already suffering under an unpayable $74 billion debt, puerto ricans understand all too well that debt is not relief. on the contrary, it is a potent tool of perpetual impoverishment and control from which relief is urgently needed." the authors also look at how communities in puerto rico are now working together to achieve a more just recovery. for more, we go to berkeley, california where we're joined by elizabeth yeampierre, executive director of uprose and co-chair of the climate justice alliance.
welcome to democracy now! first, describe what is happening on the ground in puerto rico. what you are most struck by and what needs to happen. >> well, thank you for having me on the show in keeping the spotlight on the island. we are in touch with activists on the island on a regular basis. a number of organizations that are really part of the frontline leadership working on climate justice issues. the first thing you hear about is that there is tons of food and water that they don't have access to, that they can't make it through the island because there is no gasoline. that there is also a state of militarization in puerto rico that there are police officers coming in from almost every , and thethe country military, and people feel like they're are being shut down, that they can't move around.
people on the island are also working really closely together, cooking together, sharing resources, cleaning up, doing the work that is necessary so they can get their lives back. but it feels like a police state. are also working, folks that are involved -- were involved in food justice issues are also working hard to try to clean up some of the areas so they can start growing things again. there is enormous amount of folks on the ground -- folks on the ground doing that it is just a model of resistance and resilience from the people on the island. juan: elizabeth, in terms of the hindrance to the recovery efforts we have raced year on the show numerous times the situation with the jones act that creates norma's restrictions in terms of how supplies come into the island,
how any kind of imports coming to the island, but there's been quite a bit of fight back from the afl-cio, which actually issued a statement several days ago. i want to read you that statement from the afl-cio. they say -- don "since the jones act ensures our labor laws protect maritime employees, repealing the act would pave the way for foreign companies to replace domestic crews with lowercase workers lacking basic labor protections. they go on to say that foreign flagships often don't enforce safety standards, minimum standards, or trade union rights and a field of a crews and failed with an terminal standards. they go on to say the jones act has in no way impeded puerto rico's recovery and they say the biggest problems is actually been lack of truck drivers and getting supplies from the ports to the island, not necessarily
shipments coming in. i am wondering your response to these statements by the afl-cio? >> sure. sadly, that really sort of illustrates some of the conflicts that we have as part of the climate justice movement and labor. and they are sad conflicts because we support workers rights, their environmental rights, their wages -- all of that is really important to us. and the truth is, the jones act foronly is delaying support puerto rico, but has also been responsible for the high cost of living because of the exorbitant withof shipping goods puerto rico. the truth is, in other nations and in other places, communities get resources from a lot of different nations. and those things get worked out. just this past week, we worked really hard to get greenpeace to provide their ship so that we could provide -- put all of the materials that people on the
island had asked us for an transport those things on the vessels to puerto rico. but the ship that is owned by greenpeace is an international vessel. we did research that shows not only would the jones act prevent us from actually putting those goods on the ship, but they can't actually deliver those goods to puerto rico. so it feels as if the united states is saying "we can't help you. we won't help you and we won't let anyone else help you." would labor, i am really stunned that the families and the people who work for the unions are the same people that are going to be impacted by climate change and that that they really are only thinking about their economic interests and not thinking about a future that is already here. we have the same problem with the afl-cio will we organize for the people's climate march and they did not want us to say "keep it in the ground." we were talking about a transition of moving away from
instructed economy to one that is regenerative. this is happening all over the world. it is abated way of thinking about economic development. it is also really something that makes you feel insensitive about the needs of unions. because we want to be able to be a line with them. we care about their rights and we care about their future and we care about unions, but it is hard to do when they don't care about the survival of our immunity. when the needs of the shipping industry are more important in the lives of people in puerto rico. amy: elizabeth yeampierre, you're a longtime environmentalist. can you talk about the connections between climate change and hurricane maria? i mean, that is what happened in puerto rico. interestingly, you're in san francisco right now and just north of you, you have this urban conflagration that has consumed parts of napa, santa rosa is a wasteland, and many
parts. can you talk about this issue of climate change and what isn't being talked about, even in the media that is covering the climate catastrophes, not mentioning "global warming"? >> it is amazing. in puerto rico, i an organization founded by puerto .icans 50 years ago i'm a climate justice activist. it feels like my worlds have collided. puerto rico is a model of extraction. for generations, the united states has basically extracted our land, our labor. in puerto rico, it has become the poster child for climate injustice. 55,000 feet -- 55,000 people have already left puerto rico in 33 days. i think of them as climate refugees. hurricane maria came on the heels of irma come on the heels of harvey in houston.
we are here in the bay where they're all of these wildfires. i am actually here in a meeting with it takes roots, that is networks.th several all of us really grappling on how do you build just transitions in communities that are faced with a crisis that is already here? puerto ricis really a frontline -- because of its unique relationship with the united states, it makes it particularly vulnerable. because other places, we're talking about houston and exposure to toxics. that is something we saw coming years ago. you mentioned i have been doing this for a while. it is true. i was the chair of the u.s. epa national of our metal justice advisory council. and many years ago, i was talking about, what do we do about industrial waterfront
communities in an extreme weather event? is epa ready to address that issue? if we have an extreme weather event, super funds that basically overflow, chemical exposure will cause disease for generations. what are we doing about that? at the time, and it was under the obama administration, they did not want to talk about it. they just wanted to talk about environmental justice in the traditional sense. new york city was hit by sandy and we were allowed to create a working group to address that. we were able to do a study that sat there. with recommendations from people from industrial waterfront communities in the study just sat there collecting dust. then harvey happen. and houston them becomes the exact thing we were predicting. and then here in puerto rico, we have 23 super funds. 23 super funds that have now flooded and affected everything so that even as people make their way through their
communities to try to clean up, they are being exposed to any number of chemicals. there is -- no one is looking at the executive order that really sort of says, you have to have an interagency approach for addressing these issues. what is the quality of the area code what is the quality of the water? what is the quality of the soil? are people protected? are they wearing protective gear? what is the exposure it is the toxins? all of that is happening in puerto rico. that literallyd flattered by this hurricane. so we knew this was coming. of course, we were never prepared for it. but puerto rico really is that poster child of climate change. folks can deny it is here, but honestly, you know, our 99% ofsts are telling us
the scientists are telling us it is global warming. elizabeth, i want to ask you, if we could switch gears, about the response of both the federal government and the puerto rico government itself to the subsequent to the disaster. we have the new status senate is getting ready to move forward a bill which is $36 billion for all 3 -- texas, florida, puerto rico -- and of course, this issue of the loans to puerto rico instead of actual grants. and that fema is releasing $500 million immediately. and of course, fema is doing a boardcause the promes sent a letter to the president and to the congressional leaders just about 10 days ago saying the government of puerto rico will be completely out of money by the end of this month, by october 30. there is no money left to be a legitimate any kind of work will
stop so, one, the nature of the federal wrist on, but also the nature of the response by the puerto rican government itself, the governor, which has not got a whole lot of attention. but the governor initially hired a company to completely -- a completely unknown company to oftore electricity out montana that it turns out only had two employees and virtually no track record, yet was being hired to bring back all of the electricity to puerto rico. the only interesting thing about whitefish is that it is a small town in montana of 3000 people, the only most prominent , montana,of whitefish is ryan zinke, the secretary the interior. i'm wondering a response to how the government of puerto rico is handling the aftermath and also the federal government? .> both are concerning
the federal government is concerning because the commitment to puerto rico is so all. the president has actually said that all of his support is behind texas, but basically, puerto rico is going to have to save its self. so that is concerning. the governor of puerto rico, as you know, promesa really devastated puerto rico. and now we are really concerned about what naomi calls disaster capitalism. the truth is, we are hearing that there are conversations being had with the governor of puerto rico and with private investors to privatize entire communities in puerto rico. that is why we're so concerned 55,000 people have left. we are afraid the same thing is going to happen to puerto rico as happened in new orleans, where people never came back and their communities were gentrified. in puerto rico, we're concerned entire towns and community's
will be privatized. we have also been watching his reaction to what the president is saying is a great recovery. we have been wondering if his reaction has to do with the fact he is afraid to upset this president and not get any relief at all or does he really believe this? it is -- we're actually demanding tnsparency. we wanto find ouwho thes relationips are th. weant toind ou where the reli is happing, for example. which are e communy set of them priitize forelief? whe is t money bng invest? is iwortthe u.s.wns propties a going to communies thatave beemost impact? ev before e storm, lot of the resoces when into recreaonal devopments d hote and prorties owned b the united state thosare queions we ve. were conceed abouthat the recoverys going tlook lik
puerto co ca't ha a recory that tak it backo whe itas oit leaveit in placehat maket cpletely -- mes puertricans mpletelyependentn the unit states, wch is wh we ve been lking abt aust revery. l of thefforts whave bee hearin aut are vy convtional. imate ange is very uncoentionalituation weave no ust in thi governor we hav lestrust ts presidt to lve the prlem at puerto co hasthat real was cated thrgh not just t storm, t genetions extractn. so t situati that puto ri is in is onehat cod have bn predicd becaus proma lt puerto rico devasted. and he hurricane has basically its knees.to in ago some people have speculated that maybe president trump is not as concerned about
puerto rico because they don't vote for president. you don't get to vote for president on the island. what about the fact so many people are now moving to the mainland? i mean, they are american citizens. how does it work? can they vote then? >> i think as puerto ricans move to the states, they may be able to vote once they establish residency here in the united states. i don't know if the reason that the president doesn't care about puerto rico is because they can't vote for president. that is possible. i think the reason is deeper than that. i think there is a disregard for the lives of people of color, that there is a disregard for folks who come from the global south. so puerto rico is more seen as an economic opportunity for private interests in the united states, and the people are sort of just a backdrop to that interest.
so i think that citizenship is important, and folks having the that is vote, clearly, important. but i think it is more complicated than that. amy: if so many puerto ricans moved to florida, could afflict florida and make it democratic? just a question. >> you know, i heard that the reason that florida voted for obama during that election was that there were so many puerto ricans in central florida, that they actually had or played a role in tipping the vote. i don't know if that is true but that is what we have heard. amy: elizabeth yeampierre, zinke for being with us, executive director of uprose and co-chair of the climate justice alliance. we will link to your piece that you just wrote with naomi klein for the intercept titled, "imagine a puerto rico recovery designed by puerto ricans." when we come back, what happened in niger and what is u.s. africa policy? stay with us.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the u.s. military presence in africa and what happened in ambush of u.s. special forces unit by islamic militants in the west african nation of niger, which is now the subject of a military and fbi investigation. during a press conference monday, marine general joseph dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, laid out a timeline of the niger attack in
which four a jury in soldiers along with four u.s. green berets were killed after their 12-member army special forces unit accompanied 30 nigerien forces on a reconnaissance mission to an area near the village of tongo tongo, about an hour north of the capital. they reportedly ended up spending the night there, and when they left the next morning to return to their base, they encountered about 50 enemy fighters. this is general dunford. >> early in the morning october 3, u.s. forces a company that nigerien unit on a reconnaissance mission to gather information. the assessment by our leaders on the ground at that time was contact with the enemy was unlikely. midmorning october 4, the patrol began to take fire as they were returning to their operating base. approximately one hour after taking fire, the team requested support. within minutes, remotely piloted aircraft arrived overhead. jetsn an hour, french arrived on station.
later that afternoon, french attack helicopters arrived on station in a nigerien reaction force arrived in the area where our troops were in contact with the enemy. during a firefight, two u.s. soldiers were wounded and evacuated. that was consistent with the casualty evacuation plan in place for this particular operation. three u.s. soldiers who were killed in action were evacuated on evening of october 4. at that time, surgically david johnson was still missing. on october 6, sergeant johnson's body was found and subsequently evacuated. juan: dunford's description underscored how long the attack dragged on. he said when he realized the body of sgt. la david johnson was missing, he made a call to defense secretary jim mattis and got immediate approval to bring the "full weight of the u.s. government to bear" in order to locate the missing soldier. dunford defended the broader american mission in niger, saying u.s. forces have been in the country intermittently for more than two decades.
at least 800 u.s. service members are currently stationed in the country to support a french-led mission to defeat the islamic state, al-qaida and boko haram in west africa. amy: this comes as republican senator john mccain, chairman of the armed services committee, threatened to issue a subpoena in order to speed up the release of details about the attack. on mday, johnson's widow spoke out on "good morning america" about her husband's death, saying she was upset about remarks president trump made during a condolence call. myeshia johnson reaffirmed that she and others heard trump say, "he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyway." she said it "made me cry even worse" and noted the president also struggled to remember her husband's name. >> it made me cry because i was very angry at the tone of his was and how he said it. my husband remember name. the only way he remembered my husband name was because he told me he had my husband report in front of him. that is when he actually said
"l "la david." i heard him stumbling on charter member my husband and. that hurt me. if my husband is out here fighting for my country and he risk his life for my country, why can't you remember his name? amy: last week, florida congressmember frederica wilson said she heard the call in which president trump told johnson's widow "he knew what he signed up for but when it happens, it hurts anyway." over the weekend, trump called wilson wacky in a series of tweets, without once mentioning la david johnson or offering condolences to his family. that was the day of the funeral. meanwhile, somalia continues to recover last week's massive bombing in mogadishu that killed at least 358 people and wounded over 400 others at a roadside bomb exploded sunday, killing at least 11 people. the explosions come after the trump administration stepped up a u.s. campaign against al-shabab in somalia. in march, trump declared somalia a so-called zone of active
hostilities, giving wide latitude to military leaders to launch airstrikes and ground assaults. in may, that led to the first u.s. combat death in somalia since 1993, when navy seal officer kyle milliken was killed in an assault on an al-shabab radio station. in august, a raid by u.s. soldiers and somali troops on a village outside mogadishu left 10 civilians dead, including three children. for more we are joined by two guests. in detroit, mark fancher is an attorney and frequent contributor to black agenda report. his latest article is titled, "u.s. troop deaths in niger: africom's chickens come home to roost." joining us via democracy now! from ghana is horace campbell, who is currently spending a year in west africa as the kwame nkrumah chair at the institute of african studies at the university of ghana. he is a peace and justice scholar and professor of african american studies and political science at syracuse university. we want to welcome you both.
professor campbell, you are on the continent in africa. can you respond to what has happened in niger and put it in a larger context of u.s.-africa policy right now? >> greetings from rwanda and greetings to all of the people who want peace. what is happening with the united states resident dish tosence in africa is similar the united states itself. that is the lives of african people do not matter. united states of america is involved in a duplicitous war on terror and africa. in the the streets united states of america, black people are being terrorized. at the same time, united states is in a dubious alliance with tonce that once to -- wants
instigate terror in order to save capitalism in france. so this relationship between the united states and france in what is called fighting war and terror comes six years after the united states, france, and britain went into libya to destroy that country because that country wanted to create the basis for the unification of africa and africa currency. last year, president obama said that going into libya was the biggest mistake of his presidency. later in october of 2016, the british parliament had a report that said that going into libya was based on lies. the only government that did not respond was the french government. that mobilized those your called al qaeda to fight against qaddafi. the same french government that mobilized the so-called al qaeda mali, in niger, is
mobilizing in the united nations to get the african union to get toe countries in africa support france, to get the united nations to send millions of dollars in the so-called fight. the challenge for us in the peace and justice movement is to oppose the united states and france in the so-called war on terror. with the people in africa need is money for reconstruction, health, housing, employment, and changing the natural environment so that the millions of use can get jobs. it makes no sense for the united states of america to be spending $100 million to build a base in niger when france already has a
military base and france is using the united nations in the so-called multidimensional peacekeeping force in this so-called war on terror. what we need is for a massive campaign to get the truth about why these people are in niger, mali, and chad. because there is no war on terror going on when they finance the so-called war on terror to overthrow the government of libya. juan: professor, you have talked about france and the united states. most americans were not aware that there were this many troops, american troops, in africa. could you also contrast or compare the french role in the u.s. role to china's increasing role in africa and the strategy that china is using as well? france and theof united states of america, both cannot compete with china.
niger, nigerf provides 75% of the electricity needs of france because it 7.5%ces uranium will stop of the world's production of uranium comes from a french company in niger. in 2010, 2008-2010, china promised to invest billions of dollars in oil production in niger. the president of niger at the time had accused france of financing those who are called terrorists. he was overthrown in a coup d'etat. both the united states and france and other members of the european union are opposed to
the chinese presence in africa because we're in a country like djibouti, the united states has 4000 troops. billions spent $5 building a state-of-the-art forward. building a0 billion railway from djibouti to the capital city of ethiopia. there is still possibility of the united states of america and western europe competing with china in africa. africans do not want this competition over their territory. what africans want is a demilitarization of the continent and for the duplicitous role of france, the european union, and the united states to end the so-called war on terror. the african people of money for reconstruction so in a country such as somalia, every cent that is being used for fighting the war on terror could be spent in building schools, and in the
police operation could be used against al-shabab. we can only deal with terror when we demilitarize it and treat the extremistss in africa in isolating them from the communities of young people who are fed up with the alienation because of the unemployment and for thedards of living african people. amy: we have to go to break but we will come back to this discussion and be joined by mark fancher and find out specifically in niger about the was building a drone base there and how many drone bases are being built across africa right now the u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley is taking a trip to south sudan, ethiopia, in the democratic republic of the congo. stay with us.
♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we continue to examine the us military presence in africa and what happened june ambush of u.s. special forces by militants in the west african nation of niger, now the subject of a military and fbi investigation. i want to bring into the discussion mark fancher, attorney and frequent contributor to black agenda report. his latest article is titled, "u.s. troop deaths in niger: africom's chickens come home to
roost." joined by horace campbell the institute of african studies at the university of ghana. mark fancher, explain. >> u.s. africa command is something that was can make -- created around 2007. at the time, was governments design that it was intended as a way for the united states to use military methods to carry out its imperialist agenda in africa without having to run the risk of suffering u.s. casualties. militarywas that u.s. forces would be placed in strategic locations in africa for the purpose of training, thesing, and directing armies of african countries. essentially, to carry out
missions for the united states. so it was -- you know, they could have their cake and eat it too sort of situation where they could engage certain hostile forces in combat and not have to worry about u.s. troops dying. it has not worked out that way. we have just seen within the past month the fact that there are u.s. troops that are at risk as a result of this. it was inevitable. anytime you introduce violence into a situation that requires the construction of infrastructure in attending to the needs of the poor, you're going to run into this kind of thing. very wasn't a root -- a real sense their chickens coming home to roost. amy: can you talk about what the u.s. troops are doing right now in niger? i'm surprised many number of senators from although there have been briefed several times this year, at least 800 u.s. soldiers are in niger right now. can you talk about why a drone base is being built?
can you talk about where it is? what they're doing in niger and other places in that region? >> well, it is not just niger. what many people also don't know is that this level of military presence can be found in many countries throughout africa. most of them, as a matter fact. since 2007, the u.s. has been expanding its reach and has been planting small groups of people in various different locations come and not always with what would be regarded as military bases, but as embassy-based operation centers where they carry out military training and different operations using african armies. it is no different in niger. is just andrones extension of the basic idea of carrying out reconnaissance missions and sometimes actual attacks without putting u.s. troops at risk. so this is very much par for the course.
importanthink it is to really understand what has happened in africa over the last 10 years. when07 1 promesa -- africom was created, the terrorists to the extent we see them now, there was nothing comparable. the prisons, if any, was minimal. what was going on in africa at the time was that you had organizations like the movement to emancipate the niger delta, which had engaged in very militant kinds of attacks on u.s. oil installations, breaking up pipelines, kidnapping u.s. oil company and western oil company personnel, and issuing a threat in 2006 that they could not guarantee the safety of either the facilities of oil companies in and about nigeria and in that region, or the people who were sent there to work on them. it was at that moment that the
united states decided it was going to set up this special command, which was an president for africa exclusively. you know, you so see what was happening during the period was what they branded as high receipt of the coastal waters of somalia. these were fishermen whose waters have been contaminated by people who had come in and had plundered and rated their fishing facilities. and had made them unable to engage in a livelihood and in retaliation, they began to attack those boats and ships coming through those waterways -- which was a major international shipping lane. twin concerns about access to the coastal region and somalia, the oil that was been produced in the niger delta in the gulf of guinea, those were the primary drivers for the creation of africom. the more the u.s. military established a presence in that
region and throughout africa, the more terrorism tended to grow. juan: i want to ask about another key event in the history of africa, the recent history of africa, which was the u.s. participation in the overthrow a situation in libya. to what degree to the total destabilization of libya and libya is now in essence a failed state, have an impact on the growth of extremism and terrorists groups in other parts of africa? >> it has had a huge impact. if you look at the infamous emails of hillary clinton, which are available at the state department's website, you see any mail exchange where state department personnel are talking very frankly about the conversations with sarkozy about his interest in overthrowing qaddafi because he wanted to things.
one, he wanted to eliminate the threat of a pan african currency that qaddafi wanted to establish because he was afraid it would devalue the franc, and he also wanted access to qaddafi in libya's oil fields. that is the bottom line for why they went after qaddafi in the way they did. in order to do it, africom stepped and played a major role in recruiting local forces within libya to attack qaddafi. they chose to establish relationships with some of the worst elements in libya. in fact, one of the groups they established a relationship with was one which by its very name set its mission was to eliminate black people from libya. so it gave heavy artillery to all kinds of people in libya with the hope and expectation that they would carry out this overthrow of the libyan government and assassinate qaddafi. that played itself out, but
those weapons were still there. amy: we just have 30 seconds. your final comment in talking about what has happened in this latest attack in niger come also, five nigerians were killed, not to mention what happened in somalia with over 358 dead? >> i want to follow-up up on the point about what happened in libya and why the progressive forces must continue to press for a united nations investigation in what happened in libya. . have put this all in my book aat is happening in niger is continuation of what happened in libya. france is in deep crisis. france is taking over undersecretary of peacekeeping forces in the united nations. france tried to put a resolution through the united nations security council to get more money for france in niger come
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